When Is The Right Time To Start Using 3rd Party Shipping Software?
As a startup business owner, you will face several challenges that come with the terrain. Your response to the challenges will determine whether your business will scale up or will keep struggling under the radar. One of those challenges is the issue of shipping. How do you operate order fulfillment for your customers such that they will be impressed with the purchase experience and order delivery? Keep in mind that you must also meet your business goals without overworking yourself or spending too much? If you ask around and do your research on how to optimize your order fulfillment process, you may stumble on third-party shipping, also known as 3PL. At this point, the question you want to ask yourself is; are you ready for third-party shipping?
This article will help you determine whether your business is ready to add in 3rd party shipping software to your order fulfillment process.
Three Strong Reasons Why You Need To Add 3rd Party Shipping Software
First, when customers place their orders and you give them a delivery timeframe, they expect you to be committed to the promise; no excuses. Delivering their orders within the timeframe you give them shows that you’re professional and it will put your brand in a good light. You will also be at peace and free from the stress of having to placate angry customers. So without further ado, let’s get into the reasons why you have to consider adding third party shipping software.
Are You Fulfilling 10 – 20 Orders Per Day?
Every business owner’s goal besides making profits is to grow and expand. However, with growth comes more responsibilities on your plate and if you don’t manage the growth well, it can end up on a downward slope. While you might see it as a good practice to personally deliver orders to your customers, making them feel like VIP, you won’t be able to continue with this practice for too long. At some point, 24 hours won’t be enough for you to make all your daily deliveries, attend to customers, and do other daily business activities. Once you realize that you fulfill 10 – 20 orders per day then it’s time to start considering outsourcing your fulfillment.
Learn about the cost of using third party shipping software, calculate the cost of using one while maintaining good profitability margins. Keep in mind that good 3rd party shipping software should open your business to more opportunities for growth.
Is Your Current Inventory Storage Space No Longer Meeting Your Needs?
Doing your order fulfillment yourself means you either keep personal inventory storage or rent a warehouse space which you have to pay for. If you own an inventory storage space, there’s a possibility that it won’t be enough to hold your inventory as your business grows. On the other hand, if you pay for a warehouse space separately, there’s a chance that you are paying too much in the overall cost of running your business.
Several third-party shipping companies offer inventory storage space as well. Compare your current inventory storage expenses with different 3PLs to determine whether it will be more cost-effective to outsource your inventory storage to a 3PL software. 3rd party shipping software might offer cheaper inventory storage costs since it will be offering the service as a bundle with order fulfillment.
Is Your Current Order Fulfillment Infrastructure No Longer Meeting The Demands?
Another reason why you should start using third party shipping software is if your current order fulfillment can’t handle your order volume. If your infrastructure always performs poorly even when it’s not a festive season or there’s no huge buying frenzy such as Black Friday going on, that should tell you that you need to find an alternative that works.
You should also consider adding 3rd party shipping software if you’re making marketing plans that can increase your order volume, and we don’t mean a one-time increase that goes back to normal. If you are pushing your business towards the direction of a sustained increase in order volume, there’s a high chance that your infrastructure won’t be able to manage the surge. Therefore, add third-party shipping software to make the experience better for your customers and to increase your sales.
Tips For Choosing Third-Party Shipping Software
When researching 3PL software, here are some of the features and functionalities you must check them for before choosing one.
Easy To Use: before you choose 3PL software, make sure you check how easy it is to use for you and your customers. Check the interface, is it easy to integrate with your e-commerce store? How does the software operate on desktop and mobile since some of your buyers will use desktop and some will use mobile devices? Your 3PL software should create a seamless order fulfillment experience for both types of buyers.
Provides Vendor support: no matter how good your 3PL software is, you will still run into issues using it. A good 3PL software supplier will provide a 24/7 vendor support that will attend to all your needs as it arises. This will ensure that you can resolve an issue as soon as it happens so that you can go back to providing smooth order fulfillment to your customers.
Pricing: 3PLs can be quite expensive but if a 3PL software supplier offers all the necessary features and functionalities such that the value matches the cost, then that should serve you. In any case, you have to compare different third party shipping software suppliers to determine which one is good for your budget and needs in the long run. Pay attention to their pricing for programming and training, as well as customization. The key takeaway from this is that third-party shipping software should justify its high cost with the added value you’re getting from it.
Over To You
There are different types of third party shipping systems, however, you want to make sure you choose a 3rd party shipping software supplier that offers same-day fulfillment. You’re already paying too much for this, the least you can get is same-day delivery for your customers, which will invariably put you at an advantage.